Liz S (ixwin) wrote,
Liz S

Songs of the tribe

Randomly browsing friends-of-friends ljs I came across a post about someone's elderly relative and how, even though suffering from dementia, she could still enjoy and remember the words of familiar hymns. The poster then went on to muse about how our more secular society seems to be missing anything equivalent - we have pop songs, nursery rhymes, songs that are sung for special occasions (carols, Happy Birthday etc.) but nothing that we sing regularly throughout our entire lifetime, so as to ingrain its way that deeply into our consciousness[1].

This struck me particularly because Daniel is currently fascinated by music and singing, and is regularly asking me to sing his favourite songs. As this coincides with an increasingly sophisticated understanding of other people, and how the world works in general I kind of have this sense that this is the point at which I should be teaching him the Great Songs of our Tribe; except that - as described in the first paragraph - our 'tribe' doesn't really seem to have any. He certainly enjoys "The Wheels on the Bus", "Sing a Song of Sixpence" etc. but I do feel a little sad that I don't have anything more significant to pass on.

[1] Obviously, this won't necessarily be true of those readers who are regular churchgoers (or folk-music participants?), but even they won't necessarily find themselves at the end of their lives surrounded by others who know the same songs.

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